Posted by: Titus Presler | May 4, 2010

EPGM & GEM conference scheduled for June 9-12 at Virginia Seminary

Episcopal News Service published a story about the Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission’s annual conference scheduled for June 9-12 and co-hosted with the Global Episcopal Mission Network:

Episcopal mission networks host joint conference

By Lynette Wilson, April 27, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] Serving as a missionary in Myanmar over the years has allowed the Rev. Kitty Babson, co-convener of the Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission, to better understand her own Christian baptism and how Christians are called to serve Christ in all people.

In the words of Desmond Tutu, she said, “‘If we are not missionaries, we are nothing.'”

Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission and the Global Episcopal Mission Network will host their second annual joint conference, Educating All Ages for Gods Mission: Living the New Life of Baptism, June 9-12 at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference is open to anyone interested in mission and can be attended in full or on a daily basis.

GEMN is an association of dioceses of the Episcopal Church, together with partner dioceses throughout the Anglican Communion, committed to the engagement of diocesan bishops, leadership and people in global mission. EPGM is a network of global Episcopal mission organizations.

The conference allows individuals and groups who are interested or engaged in mission work to learn what others – people, dioceses, organizations – are doing and to use it to inspire their work and the work of others, said Constance Wilson, EPGM’s administrator.

“Mission is taking our baptismal covenant and living it and taking it to others in the world,” she said.

Engaging in mission – whether missioners go around the block or around the world – allows people to look at the world through multiple perspectives, and “ultimately when one enters into conversation with others who are different, we become more articulate in how we express ourselves,” Babson said.

For the last 15 years, GEMN has operated an education institute. The conference includes plenary speakers for inspiration and workshops to provide tools and assistance, said Sue Messenger, GEMN’s treasurer.

Speakers include:

• New York Bishop Suffragan Catherine S. Roskam, who was instrumental in founding the Global Women’s Fund of the Diocese of New York, which is devoted to empowering women in the developing world.
• The Rev. Jered and Erin Weber-Johnson, former Young Adult Service Corps missionaries who served a year in Taiwan. Jared Weber-Johnson is now a priest at St. Albans in Washington D.C. and Erin Weber-Johnson is treasurer of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation and a member of the Standing Commission on World Mission.
• The Rev. Lauren Stanley, who is serving the Episcopal Church as an appointed missionary in Haiti.
• The Rev. Canon Titus Presler, who is a missionologist focusing on mission theology, gospel-culture interactions and church mission practice.

Following is the list of colloquia:

Thursday, June 9, 1:00-2:15PM

Colloquium 1A
“Creating Hearts for Mission”
Prof. Dorothy Linthicum
, Program Coordinator, Center for the Ministry of Teaching, VTS
The place where the hearts of children are created for mission is the home.  During this colloquium we will look at ways families can help children engage in global missions from early childhood through adolescence. We will also identify on-going programming that can be offered through the church to support this engagement.

Colloquium 1B
“Theology of Development”
The Rev. Canon Dr. Titus Presler

What do we mean by “development”? What cultural assumptions do agencies and churches have about development? How can we address poverty and the Millennium Development Goals within a holistic view of God’s mission in the world? This colloquium will invite a dialogue toward clarifying the mission vision of missionaries, mission agencies and mission activist parishes and dioceses.

Thursday, June 9, 2:15-3:30PM

Colloquium  2A
“Educating Youth for Mission”
Co-leaders: The Rev Ross Kane
, Asst. to the Rector for Outreach & Adult Ed Ministries, St. Paul’s Church,
Alexandria, VA & The Rev. Jered Weber Johnson, Asst. Rector for Youth & Young Adult Ministries, St. Alban’s
Church, Washington, DC
This colloquium will address the multi-pronged work of preparing eager and committed young Episcopalians for God’s mission; work that is spiritually and practically energizing for all involved.

Colloquium 2B
“Practices & Principles of Church-based Microenterprise Development
Craig Cole
, President/CEO, Five Talents USA, Executive Director, Five Talents International
This colloquium will focus on the practical aspects of development at a grassroots level.

Friday, June 10, 1-2:15PM

Colloquium 3A
“Resources for Mission”
Ruth-Ann Collins,
Adult Formation & Lifelong Learning Officer, Episcopal Church Center.
This colloquium will provide an overview of resources developed at the Church Center for congregational use.  Ms. Collins values the opportunity to hear about mission resources developed by dioceses and congregations.  Come prepared to discover and share!

Colloquium 3B
“Raising Support and Accessing Resources”
Michael Angell
, M Div student at VTS, Young Adult Service Corps in Honduras
This colloquium is an opportunity to hear about successful methods of raising funds for mission, and accessing useful resources for mission support. Come share your own experiences.

Friday 2:15-3:30PM

Colloquium 4A
“Leading Youth Mission Trips”
The Rev. Dr. Ted Gaiser
, Diocese of Massachusetts
While all mission leadership requires skill, leading a youth mission trip presents specific challenges. Mindful that what we’re doing on a youth trip is as much about skill development and the formation of young adults as it is about church, mission, and cultural awareness, in this session we will use two case scenarios as a foundation for discussing issues such as the development of group goals and roles, preparing youth for cultural challenges and differences, and managing group process.

Colloquium 4B
“All of Us for All of God: preaching & teaching that engages the whole person in the new life of baptism”
The Rev. Thomas H. Troeger
, Lantz Professor of Christian Communication at Yale Divinity School and the
Institute of Sacred Music
We will examine how recent work on the varied ways people know and learn can reshape our preaching and teaching so that we more effectively connect with the wide range of different ways that people receive and process the world.  The workshop will use brief lectures, music and demonstrations of the theory in practice, followed by an opportunity for participants to analyze and discuss what they experienced.



  1. I would love to hear more about your thoughts and others’ input on “Theology of Development”.

    • Hi Bob! Great to hear from you. We had a very stimulating session on mission and development: not a presentation from me, but rather a socratic dialogue among all present that elicited lots of good reflections and clarified much about development in mission. I kept track of the conversation on the board and will shortly be reproducing it as a blog posting for further reflection and comment. Stay tuned. Best, Titus

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